Normal atrial conduction in medically treated patients with bulimia nervosa

Moshe Nussinovitch*, Keren Kaminer, Eitan Gur

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background. Bulimia nervosa (BN) patients are characterized by binge eating followed by compensatory behaviors. Ingestion of emetic substances, characteristic to some BN patients, has been reported to be associated with supraventricular arrhythmias. Aims. To evaluate atrial electrocardiographic markers for supraventricular arrhythmias in patients with BN. Method. The cohort included 31 patients with BN and sex- and age-matched controls. Twelve-lead electrocardiography was conducted on all participants under strict standards. P wave length and P wave dispersion in each patient were computed from a randomly selected beat and an averaged beat constructed from 7-12 beats, included in a 10-s ECG. Results. No statistically significant differences were found between the groups for minimal, maximal, and average P wave duration and P wave dispersion, calculated either from a random beat or averaged beats. Conclusion. BN patients who are medically monitored and treated, have normal P wave parameters and P wave dispersion, and therefore do not appear to have an increased risk for developing supraventricular arrhythmias. Future research should focus on evaluating the effect of acute ingestion of emetic drugs on resting ECG of BN patients, as well as using signal averaging techniques and prolonged ECG-Holter monitoring.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)216-218
Number of pages3
JournalInternational Journal of Psychiatry in Clinical Practice
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 2013


  • Arrhythmia
  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Bulimia nervosa
  • Electrocardiography
  • P wave dispersion


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